So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the LORD. (Genesis 13:18 NIV)
Abraham was most likely what we call a Bedouin sheik. He was the head of a large nomadic tribe with extensive herds. Abraham periodically moved around the country to supply his flocks and herds with fresh grazing. And when he came to a new location, he would pitch his tents, setting up camp for the tribe.
In this chapter, two individuals are described as pitching their tents. In Genesis 13:12, Lot pitched his tents near Sodom, a place of wickedness. And Abraham pitched his tents in the hill country of Canaan. And he built an altar to the Lord.
Lot chose to live near Sodom and eventually moved into the city. And that choice was disastrous for Lot. In the end, he lost everything he had apart from two daughters.
Abraham went the other way, far from the cities of the plain and into the place God had promised him. And where he went, he built an altar to worship God. Abraham kept God at the center of his camp and experienced God’s blessings.
Few of us today live in tents and roam the country. But pitching our tents can refer to where we have put down roots and established ourselves. It relates to many of the life choices we make for ourselves.
Where have you pitched your tents? Are you where God wants you to be? And is he at the center of your camp? Or have you chosen to live where life is more comfortable and pleasurable? The first choice leads to blessing. The second does not.